Friends and neighbors gathered at Stanley’s True Value Hardware Store in Roxborough on Thursday afternoon as owners and brothers Mark and Joe Jaconski were honored for being Philadelphia’s first “Stormwater Pioneers.”
The Stormwater Pioneers program is an initiative established by the Philadelphia Water Department to recognize Philadelphia property owners, developers and designers for their innovation and dedication to better managing stormwater runoff that when not properly maintained contributes to overflowing sewers, water pollution and flooding.
In 2010 the Jaconski brothers embarked on a plan to build a new, larger building on the existing site of their iconic, family owned, 66-year-old hardware store.
Faced with the new challenge of stormwater on their larger property, they called upon the Ruggiero Plante Land Design Company in Manayunk to assist them with creating a system to manage their water efficiently and environmentally.
Ruggiero Plante Land Design developed two underground infiltration basins which capture runoff and store it for slow release. Above ground, a rain garden promotes infiltration and plant growth, and an impermeable liner on the south side of the property keeps water away from the neighboring home.
“Customers and neighbors really admire the rain garden,” said Stanley’s co-owner and president Mark Jaconski. “And every chance we get, we tell them how it’s part of the overall plan to reduce stormwater on our site.”
Presenting at Thursday’s ceremony was the Deputy Commissioner Chris Crockett of the Philadelphia Water Department, Josh Cohen of Councilman Curtis Jones’ office, and James Calamia, executive director of the Roxborough Development Corporation.
Both the Jaconski brothers as well as Cesira Ruggiero and David Plante of Ruggiero Plante Land Design were presented with certificates and a plaque that will be permanently installed on the building of Stanley’s Hardware at 5555 Ridge Ave.
“You don’t get a chance very often in your life to be a pioneer at anything,” said Mark Jaconski upon accepting their award.
“Me and Joe are not pioneers in this business, we’re third generation. We took [the business] and ran with it, and I think ran pretty well with it, but we didn’t start this. So it was nice to actually be a pioneer in something else,” he said, adding it was a chance “to do something good for us, for our families and for the community that will go on for generations.”